Recovery and Rehabilitation for Men
Determining the best course of treatment for men who have been struggling with an addiction, mental health challenge or behavioral disorder is a complex matter that must take a number of factors into account. The primary concern when making any treatment decision is ensuring that a full and accurate diagnosis of all diseases and/or disorders has been made.
The following factors must also be taken into account when selecting the best treatment program for men:
- Age of the patient
- Medical and behavioral history
- Presence of multiple (co-occurring) disorders
- Length of time the patient has been dealing with the disease or disorder
- Severity of the disease/disorder
Once these and other factors have been evaluated, the range of treatment options for men who have been struggling with a mental health problem, addiction and/or behavioral compulsion is likely to take one of the following three forms:
- Outpatient treatment
- Partial hospitalization
- Residential treatment
In each of these three options, the provided services may take place either alongside women and other men, or in a gender-specific (all men) program.
In some situations (for example, in treatment for trauma recovery, eating disorders or sex/love addiction), some male patients respond better to treatment programs that have been specifically designed for men only. (Conversely, some female patients prefer — and respond better to — women-only treatment programs.)
In some cases, gender-specific groups may be included within larger mixed-gender programs, so that all patients can benefit from both options. For example, a mixed-gender residential trauma recovery program may include weekly gender-specific group therapy sessions so that men in treatment have the opportunity to address issues that they may be hesitant to discuss in a group that includes women as well as men.
Few, if any, addictions or behavior disorders discriminate in terms of either age or gender. But many addictions and disorders impact men differently than they do women — both biologically and emotionally. Gender-specific treatment programs (or gender-specific programs within larger mixed-gender programs) ensure that proper attention is paid to the different ways that men in treatment are impacted by the issues they are dealing with.
As is the case with treatment programs in general, selecting a men-only treatment program (or a men’s treatment track) is a matter of determining the best fit for the patient in question. Two men who are dealing with the same disorder may find success in two very different treatment programs.
In all cases of selecting treatment for an addiction, compulsion or related disorder, the question isn’t “Is this the best program?” The question should always be “Is this the best program for this particular patient?”
When evaluating a men-only treatment program or men’s treatment track, the following are important components to assess:
- Individualized assessments to identify the range of issues that the man is dealing with
- Personalized treatment plans featuring a variety of techniques
- Ongoing assessment of the man’s progress
- Strong family support program (depending upon the men in question, the family program may include parents, spouses or partners)
- Transition support and aftercare planning